JCPenney Transforms Catalog Strategy; Drops ‘Big Book’ for Targeted Catalogs
PLANO, TX—Nov. 18, 2009—As part of its effort to continually adapt its marketing strategies to meet evolving customer preferences, J. C. Penney Co., Inc. (NYSE:JCP) has taken steps to further reshape the way it engages with customers through an integrated marketing approach that incorporates stores, catalogs, online applications and emerging digital marketing platforms, including social media.
Increasingly, catalog shopping has converged with online and in-store shopping as customers view catalogs as “look books” and inspiration sources for their in-store and online purchases. In response to this convergence and the ongoing migration of customers to shopping online, JCPenney will no longer publish its twice-yearly “big book” catalogs and will dedicate those resources to a range of customized, more timely specialty catalogs, continued targeted growth initiatives on jcp.com and ongoing leading-edge digital media services.
The discontinuation of "big book" catalogs aligns with JCPenney's ongoing commitment to promote the sustainability of forests and other natural resources, and builds upon its legacy of operating in an ethical and socially responsible manner. The Company anticipates a year-over-year reduction of 25 to 30 percent in paper used for catalogs in 2010 – continuing a four-year trend of declining paper consumption.
“To ensure we are keeping pace with consumers’ changing media habits and continued migration to online versus catalog shopping, we have increased our investments in new technologies, as well as successfully integrated the merchandising and marketing teams serving stores, jcp.com and catalog into one enterprise-wide team that is able to consistently and seamlessly serve our customers, no matter how they prefer to shop with us,” said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer. “Part of this transformation is the refocusing of our catalog operation to smaller, more targeted publications, providing us with a strategic opportunity to continue reducing our overall paper consumption and transportation-related environmental impacts. We remain committed to constantly analyzing the impact of our overall environmental footprint and upholding the principles and discipline that have helped sustain and build JCPenney into a trusted brand for over 100 years."
Highlights of JCPenney’s Direct-to-Consumer Marketing Evolution
“We are constantly evolving our marketing approach to capitalize on new technologies and customization strategies that allow us to be in more frequent and effective contact with our customers,” said Mike Boylson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “Big book catalogs have become less relevant as customers have embraced shopping online, where they have ready access to our entire assortment at any time on jcp.com, one of the nation's largest general merchandise sites on the Internet. At the same time, customers greatly appreciate the smaller, more personalized catalogs we have introduced as well as digital and mobile applications that make it easier, more convenient and fun to shop with us.”
Ongoing Growth of jcp.com and Digital Outreach: As JCPenney’s largest, most dynamic store, jcp.com is one of the largest general merchandise sites on the Internet, with more than 250,000 merchandise offerings and millions of opt-in e-mail subscribers. Additionally, JCPenney has developed a range of digital marketing initiatives, such as an iPhone application launched this year and presence on social media sites such as Facebook, where JCPenney has so far amassed a following of more than half a million fans.
Broad Array of Specialty Catalogs: A roster of specialty catalogs includes a range of home catalogs to support JCPenney’s leadership in home lines, such as “Rooms Babies Love” and the cooks® catalogs; the “Little Red Book” publications for women’s apparel and accessories; and “Matters of Style” for men. Other popular catalogs, including the Christmas catalog, will continue.
Less Paper for a Greener Planet
As part of its corporate social responsibility initiative, C.A.R.E.S., which stems from the vision that JCPenney cares for its Community, Associates, Responsible Sourcing, Environment and Sustainable Products, the Company works with its suppliers to ensure that the paper used in its catalogs is sourced from well-managed forestry operations that have been certified and verified by independent third parties. JCPenney has already implemented a number of initiatives for reducing catalog paper requirements, including:
• Refining catalog distribution lists based on anticipated and actual customer response, and promptly responding to customer requests to be removed from distributions.
• Using some of the lowest-weight paper in the industry, which requires less fiber to produce.
• Incorporating 10 percent post-consumer-waste recycled content into catalogs when feasible.
About JCPenney C.A.R.E.S.
JCPenney has built a legacy of operating in an ethical and socially responsible manner. In 2007, the Company launched its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative – C.A.R.E.S. – stemming from the vision that JCPenney cares for its Community, Associates, Responsible Sourcing, Environment and Sustainable Products. The Company’s commitment to social responsibility reflects its philosophy that “Every Day Matters” – for its customers, Associates, communities, investors and suppliers. JCPenney was named in 2009 to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index of the leading public companies in North America for corporate sustainability and ranked No. 44 in the Newsweek Green Rankings of America’s 500 largest corporations. Additional information on JCPenney’s CSR initiatives can be found at www.jcpenney.net/about/social_resp/
JCPenney is one of America’s leading retailers, operating 1,109 department stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as one of the largest apparel and home furnishing sites on the Internet, www.jcp.com, and the nation’s largest general merchandise catalog business. Through these integrated channels, JCPenney offers a wide array of national, private and exclusive brands which reflect the Company’s commitment to providing customers with style and quality at a smart price. Traded as “JCP” on the New York Stock Exchange, the Company posted revenue of $18.5 billion in 2008 and is executing its strategic plan to be the growth leader in the retail industry. Key to this strategy is JCPenney’s “Every Day Matters” brand positioning, intended to generate deeper, more emotionally driven relationships with customers by fully engaging the Company’s 150,000 Associates to offer encouragement, provide ideas and inspire customers every time they shop with JCPenney.